Sunday, April 10, 2005


when #1 son saw that the madeleine plaques,newly washed and rinsed, were spread out on the table, he shot me an extra loving look. (which is pretty incredible coming from an almost sweet-sixteen-NOT! boy...)
"mom, could it be... you're making...madeleines?"
poor baby, i haven't made these in years. when it was just him and me i made them for him pretty regularly. so i made it for them over the weekend...and they're all incredibly...gone.
i tried another recipe this time, from Baking with Julia, edited by Dorie Greenspan, and based on the eponymous TV series with the beloved venerable chef and her guests.
i think i like the Craig Claiborne version from "The Best of the New York Times" cookbook, being softer and crumblier, but the sweeties loved them.

once the batter is mixed it must be baked right away to have a good and soft "crumb".

preheat oven to 400F.

melt 4 tbsps. butter.
use 1 tbsp. to grease generously, and then flour every nook and cranny of the shell shaped plaques. tap out excess flour (i tap the plaque upside down against the padding of my hand over the sink).
measure out 2/3 cup sugar, scoop out 1 tbsp. for the flour mixture.
sift together 1 & 1/4 cups cake flour with 1 tbsp. of the sugar and 1/8 tsp. salt.

beat 4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs with the rest of the sugar until light and lemony and the consistency of soft whipped cream. add 1 tsp. of vanilla during the last few minutes of whipping. add the flour in thirds, folding gently , by hand, only until flour disappears into the batter before adding the next batch.

mix in the remaining 3 tbps. of melted butter and fold gently until fully incorporated. do not over beat or the cookies become tough.
bake for about 10 minutes or until the tops are set, and there is a little "bump". remove plaques from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 1 minute. carefully pry the cookies off the plaques with a gentle rocking motion, or use the sharp tip of a knife to pop them out. cool completely. sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or serve with whipped cream if desired.


but by then my kids have waited long enough...